The Irish Act of Union: A Study in High Politics, 1798-1801 Hardcover – 1 Apr 2000
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From the Author
The Union Debate
The Union was an act of arrogance. It was arrogantly conceived, and executed with the ruthless inefficiency that characterised much of government activity in the period. The year 2000 marks the bicentenary of the passing of the Irish Act of Union, a piece of legislation that ended the Irish parliament and in doing so became one of the defining events for the modern Irish political nation. The 19th century became dominated by attempts to repeal the Union, and even in the 20th century much of the violence on the island was between competing groups who want to end, mend, or ultimately defend the measure.
This book is an examination of the reasons behind the introduction of the Union, why Prime Minister Pitt was so anxious to see it pass, and how the British government did everthing necessary to ensure it succeeeded. The account follows on from G.C. Bolton's study 'The passing of the Irish Act of Union' (1966), and includes an analysis of new secret service papers that were only discovered in 1996.
Catholic emancipation was also entwined in the Union debate: Pitt wanted to allow the catholics to vote and sit in parliament, but an unwilling king, and the machinations of a group of anti-catholic conspirators ended up destabilising the government in the critical period of late-1800. Ultimately, Pitt resigned and his ministry was broken ensuring that the Act of Union never became the inclusive measure he had intended.
This book endeavours to tell the story of what happened between 1798 and 1801. It is an investigation of the high politics of the period, and an examination of the unusual circumstances that saw the abolition of the Irish parliament and the collapse of the British government. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
About the Author
Dr. Patrick Geoghegan is an historian attached to the Royal Irish Academy where he is working on the multi-volume dictionary of Irish biography. He is also preparing a biography of Robert Emmet -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
Top customer reviews
This book, while more academic in tone than most history books I'd usually read, gave me an excellent insight into the reasons behind the Union, the political and intelligence maneuvering that went into bringing it about and the failures associated with it. In particular, the failure of Pitt and his supporters to carry Catholic emancipation with the Union, something they saw as being one of the key pieces of the solution to the problem of securing the empire, is given a good going over and is something that I don't think a lot of people are aware of.
Of particular interest to this reader was the account of the Alien Office (the British Secret Service) and the links between what was happening in Ireland, Europe and Russia. The corruption which was used to pass the Union, was no different from government policy in other areas, and the ruthlessness in which the government pursued the Union is perhaps the most chilling part of the book.
One criticism of the book is the emphasis it puts on William Pitt, the British Prime Minister and his resignation. The most enjoyable sections are the ones to do with the passing of the Union and the complex British dimension perhaps unnecessarily complicates matters.
Otherwise this is a very highly recommended book, and a welcome addition to Irish (and British) historical scholarship.
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